ISTC News Highlights

New ISTC Annual Report Now Available

ISTC’s annual report for the period July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 is now available. The report features ISTC’s technical and research efforts during the period. Highlights include ISTC's success with winning awards for all five of the DOE grant applications that our researchers submitted in fall 2017. The report also details new initiatives such as solar panel recycling and free assessments for wastewater treatment plants to reduce operating costs. With these efforts, ISTC continues to advance sustainability in Illinois and beyond. Check out the report for more details.


Registration is now open for the 2018 Illinois Sustainability Awards

Registration for the 32nd Annual Illinois Sustainability Awards is now open. Join us to learn more about cutting-edge sustainable business strategies and celebrate the 2018 award finalists. Register here.


Wastewater Treatment Plant Efficiency Program Offered

clarifying pool at a wastewater treatment plant

The Illinois EPA Office of Energy is teaming up with ISTC and the U of I’s Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) to help municipalities reduce the cost of wastewater treatment. ISTC and SEDAC will be providing free energy usage assessments. Find out how you can save energy and money in your wastewater treatment plant by visiting our informational page and applying for a site visit.


US DOE Grant Awarded for Large Pilot Testing of CO2 Capture Technology

Abbott Power Plant

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced funding for ISTC’s project titled ”Large Pilot Testing of Linde/BASF Advanced Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Technology at Coal Fired Power Plant.” ISTC Director Kevin OBrien who is leading the project stated that the overall goal is to design, construct, and operate a 10 MWe capture system based on the Linde-BASF advanced amine-based post-combustion carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology at a coal-fired power plant in IL. The Phase I feasibility study part of the project will be conducted over the next 16 months.


Advancing Carbon Capture Adsorption Technology - from Lab Scale to Bench Scale

team photo of the people working on the pilot scale project

Research is progressing on a novel biphasic solvent absorption method that holds promise as an innovative, cost-saving alternative to the conventional CO2 capture process in power plants. ISTC researchers have been assisting the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) on a lab-scale (10KWe) U.S. DOE-funded project developing a biphasic CO2 absorption process (BiCAP) with multiple stages of liquid-liquid solvent phase separation, which improves CO2 absorption kinetics and increases the carbon capture capacity.

Now the research efforts are ready for the next step. Recently U.S. DOE announced $3M of additional funding for ISGS and ISTC to conduct a three-year bench-scale (40KWe) study of their BiCAP technology. The proposed technology is aimed at achieving a CO2 capture cost of $30/tonne and >95% CO2 purity to meet DOE’s Transformational CO2 Capture goals.


Researchers tap problematic e-waste surplus to recover high-quality polymers

BK and Sri

Mixed-plastic electronics waste could be a valuable source of reusable polymers, a new study led by Illinois Sustainability Technology Center scientists suggests. The team has developed the first energy-efficient and environmentally friendly process that separates mixed polymers so that they can be recycled into new, high-quality plastic products.

Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Article by Lois Yoksoulian
both from Illinois News Bureau

Read an additional article about this research from the ACS news room.


Read previous ISTC News 
ISTC’s latest case study features 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award winner Loyola University Chicago. Loyola is an urban Catholic Jesuit university located in near the Chicago lakefront. In 2015, they released a climate action plan which called for them to be carbon neutral by 2025. Loyola incorporates several tools to ensure that sustainability issues are front and …
ISTC and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County have a history of working together to improve sustainability.  Their latest partnership has resulted in the Forest Preserves’ Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Plan, in which they set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The plan is divided into five priority areas: Utilities …